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film sticking to emulsion question

4110 Views 14 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  jgabby
I coated 2 screens yesterday and let them dry for a bout 7 hours in a small room with a dehumidifier. I printed one film using a fixxons waterproof film, the next one i printed on a DSF non waterproof film. When i exposed them the waterproof film was stuck to the screen, but the non waterproof film was not. I get the same problem using the waterproof film even if i let the screen dry (without dehumidifier) for 36 hours, and the film ink drying overnight. What is going wrong, when the film sticks and i peel it off, part of the ink stays on the screen making the film no longer reusable. I do expose these in my garage where the humidity might be higher, but its less than 1 minute.
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Dry your films where the dehumidifier is at. The coating on waterproof film will hold humidity. If you keep your film in a humidity controlled environment it dries much faster. I try to print the day before and put the films in the dry box.
I just figured out a solution to this problem. I am a DIY type of person. I just started screen printing a few months ago and my exposure unit setup is basically a box with a 500 watt light in it pointing straight up, 1/4" thick tempered glass at the top.
The glass gets hot, man. I've had a LOT of issues with ink sticking to the emulsion and screen after exposure. I'm starting to make money printing for various businesses, so the pressure is on to not only economize and save money and time, but to create a quality print.
All I did is in between the film with the stencil, I married and stuck another blank film of the same size in between IT and the screen before exposure.
Be careful when you set them together that they are even and square and the same size to prevent light creeping behind the stencil and overexposing. It's a more delicate process to set it onto the screen, but it will save your film and will save your screen from having to bombard it with too much water taking out important details. Good luck!
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If you stencils are dry and your films are dry there shouldn't be any sticking. If your glass is getting too hot use a fan to cool during a exposure. Sticking anything between your film and the stencil is a very bad idea, it will promote undercutting. Instead of putting a bandaid on a problem one should identify the source and fix that.
Thanks for the reply. It hasn't failed me yet. Each time my stencil washes out fine and I save my film and stencil for another day, so I'll stick with it. I'll say follow the Hodgetwins philosophy on this one.
I agree with sben763...
You really should try and get it fixed. Don't get me wrong... this business is all about quick fixes. But, even just the fan to keep the area cool to not melt the ink or film is a better fix. It's better than possible wasting 2 sheets of film.

Hell... You could even mirror your print and then place the opposite side down making it right facing. Then no ink will be touching the emulsion at all.

By the way... I have not tested that because I just though of it. I have to say it does sound genius though.

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The best method is the ink touching the screen. If there is not direct contact under cutting will occur. It may not be noticeable in spot colors but I'll bet the bank that either sticking a film in between the screen and film or mirroring it and turning over the minute you try to expose a 2%-10% halftone dot they will be gone. And the same on the other end. This is why vacuum is best to hold positive contact to your stencil. If a film is sticking you either have moisture somewhere or too much heat. Both are easily fixed.

I point this out cause a lot of newbies come here looking for advice. When I see bad advice I have to jump in and not only say that it's bad advice but explain why.

I started out with halogen light and screen hinges and have used unfiltered black lights, 1000 watt metal halide and now using LED and a 6/6 M&R sidewinder. So I've tried all the short cuts and in the end they can set you back by getting into bad habits especially when you try to up your game and take it to the next level.
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Well, I think there are more variables to consider regarding the type of exposure unit and the method of exposing. With my setup, a fan isn't going to do much. I have made accomodations to allow ventilation, but I'm cautious to mess with any sort of temperature because I've had glass that wasn't tempered break on me during exposure. I don't recommend my setup at all, nor am I implying that this is an exceptional way of exposing, but it's what I have.
I know for sure that my screens are dry. Of course, I'm no screen printing master and I've taught myself, but it has worked for me with my particular setup plenty of times. I will have that thing on the glass with a lid on top of it for near 14-15 minutes with yellow mesh screens. So, if I'm discredited for my lack of experience, so be it. But it has worked for me no problem with my setup and my method of exposing. If you haven't tried it, try it. It's worked for me just fine. We can rationalize the best method for anything to death, but if you get from point A to Z and you aren't doing any major, critical damage, what's to lose? No one's said to me that they've tried this and it is false. Maybe it's not recommended by those that have been in the dance forever. Big deal. Experimentation is a part of learning and sometimes you have to use your ingenuity where forums don't help. Sometimes you have to just go for it. I will always research on forums first, though.
That's why I say: Hodgetwins. It's just advice.
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I'll take the advice within your reply.
I also think it's important to note that I only do spot colors and medium detail given my setup (surely your expertise gathered). I'm a newbie myself and I'm not trying to act like I know the tricks of the trade. I speak for me. I don't appreciate you implying that I gave "bad advice." This works for me. As soon as I'm able to raise the capital to get a better setup, I'm on it.

But for the folks on here that have a setup that does this, I've a suggestion that will temporarily help them until they can afford more expensive, better equipment. Thanks for flexing your superior muscles and having to throw in your two cents at my expense and subtly discredit me by implying I gave bad advice.

I've never seen advice to help me with this issue on any forum. BOOM! There's my advice, son. Take it or leave it. I just joined this forum a day ago and I've been printing for about 5 months tops. I'm not afraid to jump in and I don't give up. This is what worked for me, though. Take it or leave it.
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It could be a bad roll of film. We switched to Fixxons about a year ago and everything was fine until we got our new press with a pin reg system and laser PRU. On large mutli color prints registration was horrid and the film sticking to the screen got worse as time went on..

Our last roll of 13", purchased about 2 months ago, started sticking to the screen but we had no issues with the 17" roll. As we got deeper into the 13" roll the worse it got.

We were having registration issues as well and decided to test some other film. We tested 3 different brands by printing the same image at the same time and keeping them in a climate controlled, low humidity room for 2 days then burning the screens. We also dialed in our Epson 4800 All Black to ensure our registration issue wasn't printer related. We ended up going with the 5mil Ryonet film primarily to solve our registration issues, which it did.

We found the 4mil Fixxon films the worst of the bunch in regards to sticking to the screen and registration.
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I am not saying that the film is your issue, just that it could be.
Just so you know, every response you made injected a personal jab so that's why I responded aggressively. Have a ****ty day, bud. Stuck-up snob. Hope this makes you look at yourself. Think about why someone would say this **** to you..
So the person sends me the PM above. LOL.

Bad advice is bad advice. I didn't call you names and even tried to help you solve your issue so you can do it right. A fan blowing on your glass would help cool your glass. I have used a halogen. Had the heat issue, and used a fan to solve heat problems. So I have been there done that. In the first 5 months when I started I made enough to replace my exposure, press and buy a conveyor dryer. This is because I was willing to change and produce the best product possible. 8 years later I am printing high end prints at above average profit. Must be doing something right.


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You just made my day by posting his pm....
Some folks just can't be helped.
i, too, use Fixxons, and i've noticed that when my film sticks, it has more to do with the film than the screen. after i print my films, i put them in front of a heater (a hair dryer would work as well), to fully dry the ink. when i'm in a rush, and they don't get dried as much, they stick.

good advice has been given regarding drying the films in the same de-humidified air that the screens are in. if the the film is dry and the screens are dry, you shouldn't have any issues.

also, @sben763 is 100% correct in saying NOT to put anything else between your film and the screen. even if you are doing simple designs, the goal here is to have sharp clean lines and edges. diffusing the light won't help with that, and all you are saving is a few pennies worth of film and ink. @sben763 is one of the good helpers around here, and he has a wealth of knowledge regarding screen printing.
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